The world of health insurance can be a challenging place to navigate. But let’s get back to basics for a second. The very first step in the process is determining your eligibility for coverage. In this blog, we’ll go over some essential information for any Nevadan trying to figure out which kind of insurance they qualify for, whether it’s Medicaid, Nevada Check Up/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or a comprehensive plan through Nevada Health Link. These are the first steps to a happier, healthier life for you and your family. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Calculate Your Income/Household Size
The first thing you’ll need to do in order to determine your health insurance eligibility is calculate your expected household income (aka Modified Adjusted Gross Income or MAGI) for the year you want coverage. Income is counted for everyone you’ll claim as a dependent on your federal tax return (including you and your spouse), so include their income even if they don’t need health coverage.
To calculate your MAGI, start with your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on line 7 of your IRS Form 1040 from last year. Many people’s MAGI will be identical or very similar to their household’s AGI. Once you locate this number, consider any expected life changes— like raises, new jobs or shifts in employment, addition or loss of dependents, or adjustments to income from other sources, like Social Security or investments— and adjust your household income estimate accordingly. Please note this does not include Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Finally, add the following kinds of income if you have them:
- Tax-exempt foreign income
- Tax-exempt Social Security benefits (including tier 1 railroad retirement benefits)
- Tax-exempt interest
Add the zero, carry the one, and you’ll be ready to move on to the next step and continue along the road to coverage!
Step 2: Fill Out a Nevada Health Link Application
With your MAGI in hand, you can now begin the application process. Eligibility and cost are determined by where you live, how many people are in your household, and your income. At the beginning of your application, you’ll be asked to provide some basic information about your household and income. Our eligibility pre-screener tool will use this information to identify any potential eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP. You will be directed to a Medicaid application if you’re eligible for these programs. There’s only one thing left to do…
Step 3: Explore Your Options
Once you know your eligibility, you can begin exploring insurance options. Here’s a quick rundown of some coverage options you may qualify for:
Medicaid is a government program that acts as a healthcare safety net for those in need of one. In Nevada, Medicaid is available year-round, offering a crucial lifeline to those with limited financial means. Access Nevada is our state’s portal for residents applying for Medicaid or making other changes to their account.
Nevada Check Up (CHIP)
Nevada Check Up is Nevada’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The program’s mission is to provide comprehensive, low-cost healthcare to low-income, uninsured children who aren’t covered by private insurance or Medicaid. Depending on your income, your children may qualify for coverage through Nevada Check Up— if so, you will be required to pay a quarterly premium based on your income and the size of your family; however, you won’t have to worry about co-pays and deductibles! Note: If your children qualify for CHIP, you may still qualify for coverage through Nevada Health Link for yourself.
Nevada Health Link
Nevada Health Link is Nevada’s health insurance marketplace. We connect individuals to a variety of insurance plans from different health insurance companies, as well as offer tools and resources to help you choose the plan that’s right for you. Nevada Health Link is the only health insurance resource that can provide you with federal tax credits and subsidies to help cover the cost of your monthly premium.
We hope the wide world of health insurance feels a little more accessible— all you have to do now is crunch some numbers, complete the application, and start exploring your coverage options. Click here to get started with your enrollment at Nevada Health Link.